Loudoun fence
Loudoun Producer                                                   February 2013


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Buy Fresh Buy Local Update Underway

Loudoun producers: please update your profile for the 2013 Buy Fresh Buy Local Guide!  You can view and update your profile by logging in on the website, www.BuyLocalVirginia.org.

The last day to update is March 8th, and the guides will be printed and available by mid-April. If you do not have your login information or if this is your first year in the guide, please email Jessica Palmer

Extension Posts Livestock Updates

The January and February Livestock Updates were recently posted online by the Virginia Cooperative Extension. The January report includes an outline of suggestions for buying bulls and flock nutritional strategies for sheep production. The February issue features lambing management tips and a schedule of necessary actions for preparing spring and fall calving herds.

Sign Up Now for Rural Innovation Forum

Loudoun's agribusinesses are encouraged to register now for the upcoming Forum for Rural Innovation, being held March 8 at the Best Western Lee Jackson Inn and Conference Center in Winchester. The 9th annual forum runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and highlights the best in profitable rural business trends and developments, with agricultural experts and owner-operators sharing techniques, tips and lessons learned. Registration is now open; a brochure and registration form is available online.

"We have a really fresh lineup of speakers and topics for 2013, and we fully expect a sellout crowd," says Kellie Boles, Loudoun County agricultural development officer.

The forum is a partnership event with Clarke, Loudoun, Fauquier and Warren counties in Virginia; Jefferson and Berkeley counties in West Virginia; the Potomac Headwaters and Shenandoah RC&D; Virginia Cooperative Extension and the West Virginia University Extension Service. The highlights include:

  • Practical considerations and recommended techniques for growing hops will be profiled by Steve Miller, New York Hops Specialist from the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Madison County, New York; and Stan Driver, owner of HootnHollerHops and hops grower for Blue Mountain Brewery.
  • A panel discussion focused on ag-related granting and lending.
  • Presentations on specialty and ethnic crops
  • The use of vertical growing systems in rural and urban settings.
  • Strategies for working with the media, responding to interview questions and increasing exposure of your farm.
  • A discussion panel of the region's 2013 Rural Innovation Award winners.

The event also opens with a trade show of local agribusiness-related vendors, and features a lunch prepared with local farm products.

Tips for Successful CSA Member Retention


Thinking of making the leap from wholesale to retail for your farm-based products? Or leaving behind the early hours and variable weather at a farmers market? A CSA -- where the community supports your operation through the advance sale of "subscriptions," or shares of your year's production - might be worth consideration. Bulk sales at retail prices can be rewarding, but the commitment, creativity and discipline required to continually please customers -- and turn a profit -- is not for the faint of heart. Read more here.

Where's Warren?

Warren Howell Loudoun Cattle Farm 2013   

According to the latest Virginia Agricultural Statistics, Loudoun has more than 20,000 head of cattle. This month we sent Warren Howell, owner of Allder School Berries in Purcellville, to an undisclosed cattle business in Loudoun. Tell us his location via email by February 28 and be entered to win a jar of strawberry preserves from Great Country Farms. Email your answer to: LoudounBiz@Loudoun.gov. Here's a clue:

This Aldie-based operation features high-powered genetics that have been carefully selected from top Angus breeders nationwide. As a result of increasing demand for their products, they recently hosted their first-ever online cattle sale from their location off Route 15. Their contact information can be found through the Blue Ridge Cattlemen's Association website

Congratulations to recent Where's Warren winner Jay Frankenfield, who spotted Snickers Gap Tree Farm in our last newsletter. Marilyn Hough and Pete Holden also correctly identified Browning Equipment in our November issue. Pete remarked, "My father bought our first tractor here in 1958. The store was then known as Whitmore and Arnold. The tractor is still alive and well on my farm near Lincoln. Thanks for the memories."